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F-4B Phantom II

by David W. Aungst

 

McDonnell-Douglas F-4B Phantom II

 


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Background

 

Shortly after Hasegawa started releasing their 1/48th scale Phantom series, a friend asked me to build a Phantom kit for him. Since he was paying for the model kit and throwing in an extra $50.00 for my work, how could I argue? Boy, what a deal ... I have come a long way since back then.

All that remains of that Phantom kit are these pictures. I took them with my trusty old Minolta X-570 35mm camera about fifteen years ago. Please excuse my shallow depth of field in the images. I had not yet learned the trick of using small apertures to increase the depth of field when I took these pictures.

 

 

Construction

 

This model of an F-4B Phantom from VF-84 "Jolly Rogers" is the old raised scribing, original Hasegawa 1/48th scale F-4B/N Phantom kit. This was my third time building one of the Hasegawa Phantoms. The friend I built this for had served as a crew member on an SH-3 Seaking on the USS Independence in the Gulf of Tonkin. He was specific on how he wanted the model built, down to the weapons loading and the weathering. The model represents how he remembered seeing the aircraft on the deck during the Vietnam conflict.

 

 

Specifically, the model is armed as it would have been for a BARCAP mission to safeguard the carrier from an air attack, or at least that is what he told me.

For construction, I kept the model mostly out-of-the-box. About the only things I did that were extra were to incorporate the Model Technologies F-4 Phantom cockpit and canopy detail set and to use weapons taken from the Hasegawa weapons sets.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints to finish the model. The model is painted in the standard Light Gull Gray (F.S.36440) camouflage with a Gloss White bottom. The Gloss White fades to a semi-gloss and finally to a flat finish rather quickly, so the model is actually flat coated on top and bottom.

I needed to steal and modify the kit decals from a Hasegawa F-4J kit to make this specific aircraft. No after-market decal company of that time made the VF-84 markings with the all black tail. The F-4J kit actually provides markings for a VF-84 aircraft from the USS Roosevelt (tail coded "AC"). I modified the "C" to be a "G" in the tail code and obtained the ship name from a ScaleMaster decals sheet (#SM-15A) that provided US Navy style block lettering and all the aircraft carrier ship names. The rest of the decals worked as is from the F-4B kit.

 

 

In the days before computers entered my arsenal for making decals, I pieced together my name and my friend's name on the canopy rails, one letter at a time, using tiny N-scale railroad decals. Oh, how easy it is now to print up decals in whatever font I fancy and print them for use in one full name decal. Back then was a simpler time, though.

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. My friend was specific on how he wanted the model weathered. He wanted it very dirty, so I gave him what he wanted. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".

 

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

November 1987

Total Building Time:

40 (estimated)

Research:

2.0

Construction:

12.0

Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):

20.0

Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):

4.0

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

2.0

Model, Description and Images Copyright 2003 by David Aungst
Page Created 26 September, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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